Lot 82: Banda (Kahal x Winter Wish) F
(Photo : Leigh Willson)
EMPERORS PALACE READY TO RUN SALE
TBA Complex, South Africa
1 & 3 November 2013
Summerhill CEOAfter the fireworks last November, you might have expected something of a correction in the market at the opening session of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale yesterday, and there was. There were mixed signals leading into the sale, with a significantly increased attendance from the nation’s leading trainers (a good sprinkling from all three major centres), as well as a fairly strong presence of Hong Kong, Singapore, American, German, French and Swedish buyers on the grounds. What was missing though, was the legions of owners and their families on the sales grounds in the days leading up to it.
In the outcome, the top end of the market was characteristically solid (a Summerhill-consigned colt led the charge at R1.8million), but the middle and under-belly was “patchy”, resulting in a 13% reduction in average from R223,750 to R192,644; that said, the median held-up pretty well, dropping just 7% from R140,000 to R130,000. The new “White Knight’ of the racing game has to be the indomitable Adriaan van Vuuren, whose identity as a major player was unveiled at last year’s Ready To Run sale, where he took home Die Kat at a cool R2million (how’s that for a debut?), and last evening signed for the sale-topper, Intandokazi, for himself and his wife Rika. That was the good news, but the bad news was his disclosure afterwards that he was willing to pay a new South African record of R5million for the colt, if needs be! His reasoning was that he’d been trying to find a decent son of Encosta De Lago, but had missed out on his trip to Sydney, and it was as though this fellow was pre-ordained! The battle for this prize kicked off as an internecine scrap between two Hong Kong teams, then KZN’s emerging “king”, Alesh Naidoo, jumped in all on his own, and slugged away to the R1.5million mark, at which point Jehan Malherbe picked up the cudgels for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai. It eventually got a bit hot in the kitchen for these fellows though, as Michael Azzie, in the fashion for which we’ve come to know him, fired back the moment there was an opposing bid, to blast everyone out of the water for the van Vuurens.
One feature of the sale which stood out vividly, was a renewed vigour in the pursuit of fillies with strong breeding credentials, with American buyers Robert and Susan Lynch joining the fray on Banda (who fell to the bid of top Cape-conditioner, Dean Kannemeyer at R350,000); big Cape owner Keith Steinberg snapping up the Trippi filly Mbabala for Ready To Run maestro, Louis Goosen at R325,000 and the owner of last weekend’s impressive maiden winner, Ikimasu (by Admire Main), Hylton Odendaal and the Alexander boys, shelling out a solid R350,000 for Defining Looks, a half-sister to Lostintranslation from the family of J&B Met hero, Angus, and the Golden Slipper (Gr.1) ace, Dignify. They’ve obviously been reading our blogs, they’ve done the maths, and they know that there will inevitably be a significant shortage of sales stock in the next year or two. The national broodmare band has been heavily culled, and holders of quality breeding stock will be the winners. Just a year ago, these young “ladies’ would have cost R500,000 plus, so this was a golden opportunity.
If there was a slight lack of “gas” around yesterday’s session, there was no lack of it in the Emperors Palace breakfast room this morning, and there was a broad consensus among attendees that tomorrow’s catalogue is a few steps up on Friday’s. That might raise the temperature a bit for tomorrow, while the outcome of the R3million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup could well inject new “fire” (not to mention cash) into the bellies of buyers. The Lebanese contingent were here in numbers yesterday, and there were more than a few who promised to pass the confessional on their way to Mass tomorrow morning; you never know what that might do for the final numbers with the forgiveness of the Lord in their hearts!